Thursday, January 12, 2012

From East to West; RUMI's universality


In his poems, Rumi does not talk about himself, his family or his past. This should not come as a surprise. He was first and foremost a deeply spiritual person living life “here and now.”   Rumi’s poetry (like his life) expanses love from something abstract in our prayers and metaphysics into our life and world encompassing our interpersonal, international and interfaith relations. In this sense,he is universal
Don’t seek me in this or that world
Both worlds have vanished in the world I am.

-- -- Rumi

What can I do, Submitters to God? I do not know myself.
I am neither Christian nor Jew, neither Zoroastrian nor Muslim,
I am not from east or west, not from land or sea,
not from the shafts of nature nor from the spheres of the firmament,
not of the earth, not of water, not of air, not of fire.
I am not from the highest heaven, not from this world,
not from existence, not from being.
I am not from India, not from China, not from Bulgar, not from Saqsin,
not from the realm of the two Iraqs, not from the land of Khurasan
I am not from the world, not from beyond,
not from heaven and not from hell.
I am not from Adam, not from Eve, not from paradise and not from Ridwan.
My place is placeless, my trace is traceless,
no body, no soul, I am from the soul of souls.
I have chased out duality, lived the two worlds as one.
One I seek, one I know, one I see, one I call.
He is the first, he is the last, he is the outer, he is the inner.
Beyond "He" and "He is" I know no other.
I am drunk from the cup of love, the two worlds have escaped me.
I have no concern but carouse and rapture.
If one day in my life I spend a moment without you
from that hour and that time I would repent my life.
If one day I am given a moment in solitude with you
I will trample the two worlds underfoot and dance forever.
O Sun of Tabriz (Shams Tabrizi), I am so tipsy here in this world,
I have no tale to tell but tipsiness and rapture.
The religion of love is separate from all forms of religions
       Lovers are of one nation and one religion - love
       And that is God.
        
       
       In Rumi’s vision, the expressions “God is Love” and “Love Thy Neighbor” either go together or go nowhere. From his biographical records, we read many stories of Rumi’s compassion and humbleness towards people whoever they were. A Christian monk, who had heard about Rumi’s scholarly and spiritual reputation, went to meet him in Konya. Out of respect, the monk prostrated before Rumi, and when he raised his head, he saw that Rumi had been prostrating before the monk. This is significant story because those were the days of the Crusades and the bloody wars between Christians and Muslims.
Rumi died on 17 December 1273, aged 67. People from diverse religions and ethnicities -- Muslims, Christians, Jews, Persians, Turks, Arabs and Greek, the rich, the poor, the elite and the illiterate, women and men -- all came to his funeral and mourned the loss of their great sage and poet. Buried in Konya, Rumi's tomb (the Green Dome, called called "Ghobat al-Khidhra," in Arabic and "Yashil Turbe" in Turkish) has become a shrine for thousands of his lovers, tourists and pilgrims each year. 17 December is celebrated as Shab-i Arus (a Persian word meaning "Wedding Night" symbolizing reunion with the Divine) in Konya in the spirit of Rumi's own will that those who come to his tomb should not come to cry and grieve but rejoice in poetry, prayer, contemplation and compassion.This year on his death anniversary..the sufi's and new agists were there in equal numbers.

Nobody can tell you how to interpret RUMI....he himself has not prisoned his poetry in any religous or cultural cages.. neither should you.He belongs to the world and that is why he is so popular all over the world. Rumi integrated in his life the learning of a scholar, the insight of a sage, and literary gem of a poet. 
He is foremost  global citizen and speaks about the human experience and yeraning of love and the emptiness within. Somehow we sense that he belongs to noone and everyone
. Rumi appeals because, as he believed, each one of us carries a memory (no matter how faint) of our Divine home and each one of us (no matter how often) hears echoes of the celestial bird’s song hidden in the garden of our heart.He isn't just a sufi poet.He is a poet of the world.

1 comment:

  1. have you thought of focusing more on what the Prophet saw taught and not focusing so much on sufi sources particularly?

    ReplyDelete